TENNIS

Kerber keen to end memorable year on a high note

Newly-crowned world No.1 Angelique Kerber has rediscovered her form and is poised to end the year in style at the $7 million WTA Finals in Singapore.

Kerber keen to end memorable year on a high note
Julian Finney Getty Images

Year to remember

Recently-crowned world No.1 Angelique Kerber has rediscovered her form and is poised to end the year in style at the $7 million WTA Finals in Singapore.

The German started 2016 by lifting the Australian Open trophy - her first major title, but said she initially struggled with her new level of success, making an early exit at the Roland Garros.

“The French Open was the first Grand Slam after my biggest victory and I was not able to deal with the pressure and everything. But I learn a lot, especially from the defeat in Paris”, she said on Saturday.

Kerber found her second wind in the second half of 2016, reaching the final at Wimbledon and the Rio Olympics before producing her best performance to date, clinching the US Open and top spot in the world ranking.

Williams ruled out

Serena Williams, the only player with a chance of toppling Kerber, was forced to out of the elite eight-player tournament in Singapore with a shoulder injury last week.

Kerber fancies her chances of winning the Billie Jean King trophy for the first time and begins her campaign on Sunday against Dominika Cibulkova, in the first of three round robin matches each qualifier is guaranteed.

“This tournament is wide open. In today’s game the level is similar, so everyone has a chance of winning it”, said third seed , who faces Madison Keys in the opening match of the tournament.Another player battling injuries and fatigue is French Open winner Garbiñe Muguruza, who pulled out of a recent tournament in Linz after spraining her ankle. '”I think this year is going to be good for me to concentrate only in singles and just try to win all the round robin matches I can to feel good”, she said.

Muguruza plays her first match on Monday against Karolina Pliskova, while the defending champion Agnieszka Radwanska takes on either Johanna Konta or Svetlana Kuznetsova.